Everyone has heard about Lucifer or Gijsbrecht van Aemstel, the Vondelpark in Amsterdam or one of the many Vondelstreets in the Netherlands. Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679) is the rightful, so-called ‘prince of poets’. I, Vondel, is the autobiography of the old Joost van den Vondel himself. And what a life he has lived, he, the embodiment of the Golden Age! Admiration, yet also deep and utter humiliation, befell him. Throughout his life, Vondel attracted mockery and made enemies when he dared to express his doubts concerning the punishing God of Calvinism. He couldn’t gather the courage to propose to the love of his life – he grew older than his children and found himself alone at ninety-two.
Hans Croiset delved deep into the life and soul of the beloved and reviled writer, and has this timeworn man, who stood at the foundation of the Dutch language and literature, search for the right words to express his doubts, his motivations, and his world. I, Vondel, is a unique portrait of the Golden Age, portraying a passionate man who struggled with many of the issues we face nowadays.